Saleh and Wade hold talks in Sana’a

SANA’A, Feb 23(Saba)- President Ali Abdullah Saleh and his Senegalese counterpart Abdoulaye Wade started official talks Wednesday. President Saleh welcomed the Senegalese president and his delegation, confirming the concern of Yemen to extend cooperation ties with Senegal to serve common interests of both peoples. The talks between the tow leaders focused on bilateral relations between the two countries and the latest developments in the region such as the peace process in middle east and situation in Iraq. They also discussed international efforts to fight terror as well as activating the role of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) to servethe interests of Islamic peoples. The two leaders also discussed means of developing Arab-African relations and reforms of the United Nations. President Saleh pointed to the importance of extending UN membership to extend the right of granting veto for other countries including all continents. He also welcomed the appointment of a Senegalese ambassador to Sana’a.The two sides agreed on forming a committee to study aspects of mutual cooperation between the two countries. President Saleh also confirmed support of Yemen for a Saudi initiative to hold an extraordinary meeting for the Organization of Islamic Conferencein Mecca next November to discuss challenges surrounding Islamic nations. He renewed Yemen’s condemnation for the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq al-Hariri, saying it was a terrorist act which didnot serve interests of Arab and Islamic countries. He supported resuming Palestinian-Israeli negotiations in light of the international resolutions, roadmap and the right of Palestinian refugeesto return to Palestine and setting up independent Palestinian state. For his part, the Senegalese president Abdoulaye Wade appreciated warm welcome of president Saleh. Wade confirmed the interest of Senegal to expand relations between the Islamic countries, calling for more dialogue between Muslims and Christians to face what he described as “common dangers”, like terrorism. He also called for more solidarity between Islamic countries to solve their issues. Finally, the Senegalese president renewed his apology for the traffic accident which the Parliament Speaker Sheikh al-Ahmar had last year in Dakar. AH/NS SABA